Peneda Gerês National Park – day 1

DAY 1: Braga, Pitões das Júnias, Montalegre (12th May 2014)
Hike: Pitões das Júnias Trail
Accommodation: Montalegre Hotel (79€/ 2 pax / 2 nights)
DAY 2: Xertelo – Lamalonga – Minas de Carris – Xertelo (13th May 2014)
Hike: Trail from Xertelo to Minas de Carris
Accommodation: Montalegre Hotel (79€/ 2 pax / 2 nights)
DAY 3: Montalegre to Gerês (14th May 2014)
Places visited: Misarela bridge, Fafião, Tahiti waterfall, Arado waterfall, Pedra Bela Viewpoint
Accommodation: Gerês Aparthotel (85.5€/ 4 persons/ 2 nights)
Restaurant: Lurdes Capela Restaurant (11€/ person)
DAY 4: S. Bento da Porta Aberta, Covide (15th May 2014)
Hike: “PR 1 – Trilho da Cidade da Calcedónia”
Accommodation: Gerês Aparthotel (85.5€/ 4 persons/ 2 nights)
DAY 5: Portela de Leonte, Torneiros (Spain), Lindoso (16th May 2014)
Places visited: “Pé de Cabril”, “Prado do Vidoal”, Hot spring of Torneiros (Spain), abandoned house (near Compostela, Spain) Lindoso

On 12th May 2014, my brother, his girlfriend, JB and I went on a 5 days trip to “Parque Nacional Peneda Gerês” (Peneda Gerês National Park), aka PNPG.

Paradela lagoon

Paradela lagoon

We made a quick stop in Braga to stretch our legs and to see the “Santuário do Bom Jesus” (Bom Jesus Sanctuary). We climbed the steps to the first viewpoint, from where we observed Braga and the Sanctuary. As my brother let his sunglasses fall from his head to the ground below the viewpoint, we went back without climbing the final steps to reach the Sanctuary.

My brother and I climbed to the zone where his sunglasses had fallen. I was going to grab a plant to have some support when I saw the sunglasses laying on that plant so perfectly, just like if they were on a person’s face! I just wished I had the camera with me…

Our next stop was also a quick one. It was near Paradela lagoon and the main purpose was to find a geocache. The coordinates took us to a small cave and then to a high spot from where we could admire the lagoon.

At about 12:30 we were in Pitões das Júnias, the main destination of that day. We were finally going to get to know a little bit of Peneda Gerês National Park! But not before we have lunch.

Pitões das Júnias

Pitões das Júnias

Carrying just some water and some snacks, we initiated the “Trilho de Pitões das Júnias” (Pitões das Júnias Trail), which is a short distance trail. We found a few geocaches along this trail, we visited the “Mosteiro de Pitões das Júnias” (Pitões das Júnias Monastery), observed the Pitões waterfall and then we wandered in the village of Pitões das Júnias. As we were there not just for walking, but specially to enjoy the beauty of the trail, we took about 3 hours to complete this trail.

Next, we drove to Montalegre, where we spent the night. We stopped at Montalegre Hotel to check in and then we went for a walk to get to know a little bit of the town.

We didn’t walk too much to arrive at “Ecomuseu de Barroso” (Barroso Ecomuseum), a fascinating museum!

Montalegre Castle

Montalegre Castle

“Ecomuseu de Barroso” was a very good surprise. Perhaps because the visits are for free, I was expecting a simple and small museum. In a certain way it is simple, but the way chosen to convey information to visitors is not. The use of technology helped to create funny and interactive ways for everyone to be delighted and interested in getting to know about the tradition, heritage and nature in the region of Montalegre.
This was one of the museums I enjoyed most.

We left the museum just before its closing time (actually we were asked to live) and then we visited the “Castelo de Montalegre” (Montalegre Castle).

There was a flock of sheep and some goats grazing near the castle. We stayed there some time observing the goats going to the most inaccessible places to find the best food. Incredible!

We returned to Montalegre Hotel and tried two of the facilities of the hotel: sauna and Turkish bath. Those were new experiences to me and I must say I enjoyed them.

After that relaxing moment, we all joined in one of the rooms to have dinner. We tried to finish the leftovers.


2 Responses to “Peneda Gerês National Park – day 1

  1. Pingback: Peneda Gerês National Park – day 3 | Backpack Tourist

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